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Morocco Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara

    • Map references:

    • Area:

        total area:
        446,550 sq km

        land area:
        446,300 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than California

    • Land boundaries:
      total 2,002 km, Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km

    • Coastline:
      1,835 km

    • Maritime claims:

        contiguous zone:
        24 nm

        continental shelf:
        200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty is unresolved; the UN is attempting to hold a referendum; the UN-administered cease-fire has been currently in effect since September 1991; Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla which Morocco contests as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas

    • Climate:
      Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

    • Terrain:
      northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains

    • Natural resources:
      phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      12,650 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters

        natural hazards:
        northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts

        international agreements:
        party to - Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

    • Note:
      strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar

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